Star Sydney Told High Rollers to Lie for Tax Purposes
Whistleblowers are coming forward against the Star Sydney Casino in Australia, stating the venue had high rollers to lie about their residential status so less taxes would be paid.
Every licensed casino around the world must follow strict rules and regulations in order to stay in operation. The rules vary depending on location, but for the most part, they are relatively the same. Taxes are one area that all operators must focus on. A percentage must be paid based on various circumstances to stay in line with licensing regulations. In Australia, one casino has been accused with trying to pay lesser taxes than it was supposed.
Sources have come forward with information regarding the Star Sydney Casino and its high rollers. Apparently, the casino told the gamblers to lie about their residential status so that the venue could pay less than it would owe in taxes.
Former Employees Speak Out
Two former employees of the Star have come forward to speak out on the activity of the casino. These individuals say they were directly involved with the process of encouraging VIP players to say they lived in other areas when they really were from New South Wales.
Reports indicate that if the gambler could show they lived out of state or overseas, via documentation, then the casino would receive rewards. The end result was that the Star casino would be able to pay less tax to the local government.
The casino receives a 10% tax break on the revenues it generates via players located outside of New South Wales. The deal is part of a plan to encourage casino operators to bring in tourists to the state. When it comes to local gambler taxes, the rate is almost double the discount for out of state individuals.
According to the employees, the casino would give them bonuses for encouraging patrons to lie about where they live. Reports suggest that the behavior allowed the casino to avoid paying millions in taxes.
Continual Allegations Against the Star
The information from the employees has been sent to the Bell Inquiry. This is a commission created to look into allegations against Star Entertainment and the governing of its properties. It is believed that its operations are subject to organized crime.
Star faces several allegations including an ignored report provided by KPMG, a local auditor. In the report, the auditor was critical of the company’s anti-money laundering protocols as well as counter-terrorist financing regulations.
Claims have surfaced involving the casino and high rollers from China as well. It is reported that the casino allowed the high rollers to remove funds for gambling that were listed as hotel expenses. This would be a backhanded way of providing credit to the patrons.
On top of that, Star faces allegations that it did not vet high rollers, and not just a handful of players, the number is in the hundreds. The casino is supposed to review each player and ensure the individual should have access to gambling. It seems some high level criminals were able to slip through the cracks and most likely used the gaming options as a way to launder funds.
One instance of this issue involves Mende Rajkoski, an individual arrested for trying to import large quantities of cocaine to the country. He was a valued slot player at the casino and was allowed to gamble large amounts of money at the venue.
Rajkoski supposedly had minimal income listed within his player profile but managed to bet $77 million on slot machines in one week.
The poor reports continue to pile up surrounding the Star Casino and its parent company. Will the bad news continue and regulators choose to fine the company or even take away licensing due to the accusations?